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Nov 11, 2013 23 min read

November 12, 2013 - This week's tablehopper: backlash.

November 12, 2013 - This week's tablehopper: backlash.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: backlash.                    

A dish from a Californios dinner at Naked Kitchen: Yerba Buena Fruit Cup Under the C. Photo: ©

So anyone who follows food media has been watching the ripples, nay, waves of rage that followed the release of Time magazine’s “Gods of Food” issue last week. Yes, it was a complete sausage fest, and this is what happens when an inane magazine that doesn’t know enough about the food world spouts off some pretty idiotic decrees about it. You really have to read Time editor Howard Chua-Eoan’s travesty of an interview when questioned by Eater about the reasons for the gross omission of women in numerous areas in the Gods of Food section. Mansplaining at its finest—and worst.

In case you haven’t been following the fallout, there are some really excellent pieces being written that I hope you make some time to read—an important dialogue was lit up, that’s for damn sure. I’d start with this sharp piece on Eater by Amanda Cohen, and in case you need some reminders of the many Goddesses of Food who are kicking ass in this world, please look at this piece on Grub Street (the comments are a must-read). Over at The New York Times, as soon as my deadline is all finished, I’m going to be reading all the pieces in the Room for Debate that just went up about “Why Do Female Chefs Get Overlooked.”

How do we change things? Well, I was thrilled to see this in-depth piece by Sarah Henry for Edible East Bay about the rising tide of Oakland’s badass female chefs come out this past weekend. Now that was some good timing. And here’s a piece by Paula Forbes on Eater about “How Does the Food Media Solve Its Gender-Bias Problem.” There’s a lot of commentary and discussion and articles coming out right now, I look forward to reading more. It’s such important discourse. Bring it on!

Okay, so it’s also time to dive into some news, because we have some cool openings this week, and events, and other things to tell you about. Oh, and if you love white truffles, or are looking for some options on where to dine out for Thanksgiving, here’s my tablehopper hot list segment on KRON4 that aired on Saturday! Please check it out, and likes are always appreciated. Mwah.

Later alligator. Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

A First Look (and Taste!) of Sabrosa, Getting Ready to Open Wednesday


Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The Night Creature. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


Ceviche de frutas. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The rib-eye. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©

A report by Dana Eastland. Opening this Wednesday November 13th is a new, modern Mexican restaurant called SABROSA, located in the former City Tavern space in the Marina. The restaurant is helmed by chef José Ramos, who was one of the founding chefs at Nopalito and has been at Nido in Oakland until recently. He is joined by partners Andy Wasserman, Hugo Gamboa, and Adam Snyder (of Redford and The Brixton), and San Diego barman Matt Stanton. Their concept this time around is to create a lively bar scene, but keep it grounded with Ramos’s home-style, ingredient-focused cooking. The food will be seasonal, local, and not completely traditional, but is built around recipes from Ramos’s mother, grandmother, and aunt.

The space has been revamped by design team Clinton Miller and Parisa O’Connell, who previously worked on Redford and Corner Store, with a large, 24-seat bar at the back of the room. The dining room has a communal table for 12 in the center, with French doors opening to the exterior and tufted caramel leather banquettes along one wall. The bar is definitely the focus: it’s been backed with hammered brass, and the bar itself is made of eye-catching up-lit golden onyx. One wall has been done in warm walnut, while another wall is lined in subway tile with mirrored elements. Lighting has a Moorish feel to it, with punched iron lanterns in modern shapes, and the floor has white hex tile with a turquoise border. Outside seating will be available on nice days, with 32 seats under heaters.

As for the food, the menu offers small appetizers and snacks to share, including chicharrones; a toasted masa sope with pasilla chile, beef tips, and chickpea; and a very earthy black bean tamal with mushrooms, epazote, crema, and salsa negra. The cold bar section includes several seafood options, including a sweet and sour ceviche con frutas that’s currently made with pineapple, persimmon, and pomegranate, but will change seasonally. You’ll also find a selection of salads, including one with nopales and frisée, and a seafood cocktail. There is an offering of tacos and quesadillas, including a quesadilla de tinga with chicken, chorizo, crema, and epazote. Entrées include home-style stews like the caldo xochitl, a chicken, rice, and squash soup with carrots, turnips, and chipotle. Be sure to check out the rib-eye steak, which is marinated in Mayan spices (one is Ramos’s secret ingedient—he’s not telling) and served with a comforting plantain purée and Brussels sprouts.

The cocktail list, from Matt Stanton, is kept simple to complement the food. An interpretation of the traditional Charro Negro is available, with Milagro Blanco tequila, lime, Mexican Coke, and a spiced salt rim. There’s also the refreshing Pepino Diablo, with jalapeño-infused tequila, cucumber, lime, and salt. For those who like their drinks brown and strong, be sure to check out the Night Creature, with Old Overholt rye, mezcal, Averna, Benedictine, and orange bitters. You’ll find several different takes on a margarita, of course. There’s also a selection of mezcal and tequila available, and five beers on tap: Dos Equis, Lagunitas IPA, Trumer Pils, Hoegaarden, and Firestone Pale Ale. The wine list comes almost entirely from the Spanish-speaking world, including Chile, Argentina, and Spain. There are four white wines available by the glass, five reds, and two bubbly selections, plus an additional 15 wines available by the bottle.

For now, they’re opening for dinner only, but look out for the additional of weekend brunch in six to eight weeks, followed by weekday lunch. For now, hours are 5pm-2am daily. 3200 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 415-638-6500.

Merigan Sub Shop Opens Its Doors On Thursday


The counter at Merigan. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The roast beef sandwich at Merigan. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The main seating area at Merigan. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©

A report by Dana Eastland. We originally broke the story on tablehopper that Liza Shaw, an alum of A16 and Acquerello, is opening a new sub shop in SoMa called MERIGAN. After some construction and permit delays, the new place is set to open this Thursday November 14th (woo-hoo!). If you are a sandwich lover, pay attention: these East Coast-style subs are not to be missed.

On the menu, you’ll find either hot or cold subs, all served on a sesame roll from Pinkie’s Bakery that is neither too soft nor too chewy. Most of the meats are cured in-house (which involves some serious in-house butchery); ditto all sauces and condiments.

Cold subs include a looker of a roast beef with horseradish ricotta, provolone, pickled onions, and arugula; an Italian combo with mortadella, salami, prosciutto cotto, provolone, and all the fixings; and an egg salad. In the hot department, look for the Arista, a roasted and braised pork with provolone, hot peppers, and arugula; a meatball with provolone and mozzarella; and the vegetarian panelle with ceci bean fritters, olive salad, tomato conserva, and arugula. All the sandwiches are priced at $6-$10 for half or $13-$18 for a whole, but keep in mind that these are monsters; two people can share a whole and be quite satisfied. There are also sides, including housemade potato chips, soup, and cracklings.

For beverages, you’ll find beer and wine, plus a selection of sodas. Beers on tap are Anchor Lager and Green Flash Hop Head Red, plus additional options by the bottle. For wine, there’s a white and a red on tap; the red in Unti’s Rosso Piccino blend, and the white is Il Campo Giornata. You’ll also find four to five wines available by the bottle, including a Sicilian rosé and half bottles of Roederer Estate. They’ve also got Italian ices made on a vintage Japanese machine; current flavors are lemon, coffee, and almond, but seasonal varieties will also make appearances.

The space seats about 40, but you order at the counter and it’s definitely geared toward takeout. The ceilings are high, and concrete floors and subway tile give it an industrial vibe, but with fun bright touches like vintage institutional chairs from Germany. On the walls are large format photographs by Di Desmond of people enjoying sandwiches in a variety of situations. It turns out all of the photos are of Shaw’s friends and colleagues, including the crew at Unti Vineyards, a dear friend in a wedding dress, and three pooches stealing a picnic on Crissy Field.

Doors open on Thursday November 14th, and hours are Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. 636 2nd St. at Brannan, 415-536-2991.

Upcoming Projects: Casey Thompson Opening a Place in SF, Long Bridge Pizza Coming to Dogpatch, Mexican in the 'Stro


Chef Casey Thompson (photo via Facebook).

Anyone who watched Top Chef in the early days will remember Casey Thompson, one of the finalists in season three. Well, according to the Scoop, she is going to be opening a 65-seat restaurant called AVELINE in the La Scene space in Union Square’s Warwick Hotel. The restaurant will be modern Californian, with cocktails in an adjoining bar to be called The European (Adam Wilson of Beretta will be running the show). Look for a spring opening. La Scene is closing on November 17th. 490 Geary St. at Taylor.

Some news in Dogpatch: After an initial blip on Dogpatch Howler a couple of months ago, I have been looking for an update about LONG BRIDGE PIZZA COMPANY, and finally found a contact. Biz partners and good friends Andrew Markoulis and Neal DeNardi have worked for numerous pizzerias and local pizza personalities (including the Pizza Hacker) and are gearing up to open their own place. They said it’s going to be “SF style,” with a sourdough starter, and a bit of a hybrid of New York and Neapolitan pies (they will be cooking in a deck oven, so they’re not out for UPN certification, but it cranks up to 850 degrees)—they will offer both slices and whole pies. The space is the former Oralia’s, which was a deli, so don’t look for a lot of seating—there will be a counter and a few two-tops. The opening is looking like early 2014. As for the name, it’s a nod to the old wooden causeway that used to extend over Mission Bay, from the central waterfront to Bayview, where Third Street is now. 2347 3rd St. at 20th St.

The Castro Biscuit was the first to report on the rumor that the owners of Hi Tops are planning to open a Mexican restaurant across the street in the location of the former Leticia’s, in a new building called The Century. Stand by. 2200 Market St. at 14th St.

Update on Verbena, Coming to Russian Hill Before the End of the Year


The doors will be open soon enough. Photo courtesy of Verbena.

We received a bit of an update on VERBENA, the upcoming project from Berkeley’s Gather crew that’s due to open in the former Marbella/Rex Cafe space. The new target for the opening is mid-December. To recap, chef Sean Baker will be creating a menu of contemporary seasonal California cuisine, and wine director Michael Ireland (previously French Laundry, Quince, Restaurant at Meadowood) will be pairing oh-so-delicious wines (his list is going to be very producer-driven).

The space is 2,200 square feet and will have room for 58, plus 12 seats in the upstairs mezzanine, and eventually (hopefully) room for 16 at outside tables. Abueg Morris Architects (Nopalito, Comal, Hi Lo BBQ, Roam) is behind the renovation. The bar area has been moved; FYI for those who know the space well. Verbena will serve dinner nightly, plus weekend brunch. 2323 Polk St. at Green.

Tidbits: Gallardo's Reopens, Off the Grid Goes Skating at Justin Herman Plaza, Tout Sweet at the Ferry Plaza


Off the Grid at Justin Herman Plaza. Photo from Facebook.


A gorgeous tart from Tout Sweet. Photo courtesy Tout Sweet.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, GALLARDO’S is moving around the corner from its previous Folsom location. Well, it has officially reopened after the move, according to a jaunty grand opening sign and their Facebook page. Their many fans will be excited to start lining up for their weekend birria soon, no doubt! 3248 18th St. at Shotwell, 415-436-9387.

You might not be ready, but holiday season is fast approaching. Instead of getting too stressed out, celebrate some of the more delightful aspects of the season with a trip to the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center. As of Novermber 10th, every Sunday you can catch OFF THE GRID: JUSTIN HERMAN PLAZA from 11am-3pm. There will be six trucks, with a mix of sweet and savory options to keep you skating all afternoon. The market will be every Sunday until January 5th, and you get four hours of free parking if you’re skating too. Enjoy! Justin Herman Plaza, Market St. at The Embarcadero.

Trips to the Saturday FERRY PLAZA FARMERS MARKET just got a little sweeter: as of November 9th, Yigit Pura’s Tout Sweet Pâtisserie has a stand at the market. Look for morning pastries, including the Nutella bun, a smoked cheddar and bacon scone, or a more healthful green energy bar with oats, nuts, and agave. You’ll also find cookies, cakes, tarts, and a seasonal selection of macarons. Saturdays, 8am-2pm, 1 Ferry Building at Embarcadero.

In case you have been wondering about what’s on the menu at NICO, the new French place we mentioned that opened in Laurel Heights, the owners finally got back to us with a menu; take a look. Dinner Tue-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.

The former Haig’s Delicacies space in the Inner Richmond has new takers: two of the partners in nearby Chomp N’ Swig (David Heft and Albert Lararodriguez) are partnering with Ender Markal on a new business that should be opening in February 2014 or thereabouts. They are discussing opening for coffee service in the morning, and serving meat pies and empanadas during the day; there’s also talk of ramping up a full kitchen later on (beer and wine looks like a part of the plan too). Everything is a bit TBD at the moment, including the name, so stand by for updates. 642 Clement St. at 8th Ave.

Tablehopper tipster Jason B. alerted us to the announcement on Facebook that JUST FOR YOU CAFE in Dogpatch is going to be serving dinner as of Friday November 15th. No word on the menu yet, but hours will be Fri-Mon 6pm-10:30pm. 732 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-647-3033.

We also caught word from our tipster Jason B. that the WHAT’S UP DOG! stand in the Financial District’s Trinity Plaza has been replaced by a LIVING GREENS juice shop. Here’s more info in a blog post. 28 Trinity St. at Sutter, 415-802-4535.

A tweet from SPARROW mentions that they are now open for lunch. Lunch hours are Tue-Fri 12pm-3pm, with brunch on weekends from 10am-2:30pm. 1640 Haight St. at Clayton, 415-622-6137.

And lastly, in the totally, utterly gross department, a good friend posted on Facebook last Friday that he found four roaches in his soup terrine (yes, live ones) while dining at LERS ROS HAYES last week (and nope, it wasn’t the Tenderloin location). Bless him for calling the Department of Health, which shut the place down due to high-risk health violations after an inspection. Scoop reports Lers Roach (as my friend is now calling it) got a pest control steam bath and then earned an all-clear from the DPH, so they have reopened. And this is why it’s important to call the health department if you ever see anything gross or wrong while dining out.

Lers Ros Hayes            - 307 Hayes St., San Francisco - 415-874-9661

Impending Closure: Swatdee Thai Cuisine in Noe Valley


The exterior of Swatdee Thai Cuisine. Yelp photo by Melly C.

Some ABC license activity points to a change of ownership at SWATDEE THAI CUISINE in Noe Valley, which has been a part of the neighborhood since 1987. I called in last night to speak with owner James Sawatdee, who charmingly said, “I’m 64, lady!” when I asked him about why he was closing the business. Yeah, that’s a strong reason. Ditto the fact his sister-in-law, who is the chef, is 62 and has problems with her back. Sounds like these dear folks need a rest. Unfortunately he had to jump off the phone and couldn’t tell me more about the impending closure and new tenants, and he hasn’t called me back yet either. I’ll update you when I hear from him. 4166 24th St. at Diamond, 415-824-8070.

Special Dinners: Viaje with Tango & Stache, High Wattage Guests at Bourbon Steak, Ten Years of Quince


The table set for El Viaje en Mexico. Photo courtesy Tango & Stache.

After his first El Viaje en Mexico dinner in October, chef Joshua Oakley Wilder of pop-up TANGO & STACHE is back with a second dinner at Naked Kitchen on Tuesday November 19th. This time, he’ll be focusing on the dishes of Jalisco, served over four courses with cocktail pairings. Dishes include a smoked masa sope with Espolón blanco tequila-braised octopus, blistered jalapeño, and crème fraîche, and goat roasted birria-style with salsa de arbol, cabbage, and herbed rice. Cocktail pairings are from Rye bar manager Jen Ackrill, and include one made with Espolon blanco tequila, heirloom pepper granita, jalapeño tincture, Meyer lemon, candied Fresno chile, and smoked masa salt. Take a look at the full menu and cocktails pairings here. There are two seatings, one at 6pm and the second at 8:30pm. Tickets are $95 and include all food and drink pairings. 945 Valencia St. at 20th St.

Also on Tuesday November 19th, catch a surf-and-turf-inspired SF Chefs Dinner Party Project dinner at BOURBON STEAK, featuring lots of guests chefs. Omri Aflalo of Bourbon Steak will play host to Brett Cooper (Outerlands), Bill Corbett (Absinthe), Brandon Jew (the upcoming Chino), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), and Evan Rich (Rich Table) as they each create a course built around both seafood and meat. For a peek at the full menu, head here; that yellowtail with almonds, tarragon, and chicken skin from Evan Rich looks pretty killer. Tickets are $165 for the tasting menu only, $230 with wine pairings, and Visa Signature cardholders get $10 off their ticket.

QUINCE is celebrating 10 years of business this December, and they are having a serious culinary blowout to celebrate. From December 1st-10th, a different guest chef will join them for a six-course dinner, and you’re invited. It all kicks off on Sunday December 1st with a white truffle dinner from chef Michael Tusk, and then guests like Sean Brock and Frank Sitt on December 3rd; Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, and Matt Molina on December 5th; Brandon Jew, Evan Rich, Thomas McNaughton, Melissa Chou, Danny Brooks, Chanan Kamen, and Cortney Burns on December 9th (yes, all of them on one night); and a finale from April Bloomfield on December 10th. For the full list of guests, check here and start plotting your visit. The dinners cost $250 per person, with wine pairings for an additional $145, except for the white truffle dinner, which is $490 per person. Prices do not include tip or tax. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling 415-775-8500.

Quince            - 470 Pacific Ave. San Francisco - 415-775-8500

Thanksgiving Helpers: Tart from Le Dix-Sept and the Full Spread from Luke's Local


The pumpkin chocolate tart from Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie. Photo courtesy Le Dix-Sept.

Thanksgiving can be a handful, and sometimes the best way to have a great meal is to outsource a little—especially if you have a teeny-tiny city kitchen. (It’s okay, we won’t tell.) Here are a few ideas of places that can give you a helping hand (and we’ve even taste-tested some of these fabulous treats—yeah, it’s exhausting).

Are you on dessert duty but looking for a pie alternative? The talented folks at LE DIX-SEPT PÂTISSERIE have crafted a showstopper of a pumpkin chocolate tart this year, with TCHO milk chocolate ganache and organic pumpkin purée with notes of cinnamon and honey—it’s like a love child of pumpkin pie and a chocolate pudding tart, with pepitas on top. And boy, does it work. It’s available in two sizes: an 8-inch ($40) for 6-8 people (although some people may want to eat the whole thing themselves) or a 9.5-inch ($48) for 8-10 people. And check this magic out: delivery is available the day before Thanksgiving within the city, or you can arrange to pick it up. Orders can be placed by email.

LUKE’S LOCAL can help you out with a variety of Thanksgiving options, whether you choose à la carte (they have a bunch of great side dishes) or an entire meal, which includes smoked and brined BN Ranch turkey from Jablow’s Meats; pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies from Black Jet Baking Co.; sides like tasty green beans from Luke’s Local; shrubs from Bar Jars (hey, you need something to drink); and bread from Josey Baker and Bread SRSLY (gluten-free bread). What I really loved in their list of options is the carafe of “The Prescription” from SoW Juice—totally genius and so perfect for the day after. Luke’s even offers a Thanksgiving bouquet of flowers for the table. Delivery is available Wednesday November 27th from 4pm-8pm in San Francisco, the East Bay, and the Peninsula (or you can pick your order up).

The online shelves at GOOD EGGS are loaded with Thanksgiving options, from a pumpkin pie from Three Babes Bakeshop to biscuits (or biscuit dough) from Batter Bakery to heritage turkeys.

If you need a great bird for your oven, be sure to check out the turkey roti from OLIVIER’S BUTCHERY in Dogpatch. This beauty is deboned, stuffed, tied, and ready to roast in the oven. Details and ordering instructions here. 1074 Illinois St. at 22nd St., 415-558-9887.

Look for more Thanksgiving updates in tablehopper soon, but we thought we’d start with this for now!

510 Openings: Osmanthus and Copan Now Open, Kingston 11 Soft Opens This Week


The dining room at Osmanthus. Photo: ©


The patio at Trabocco. Rendering from Facebook.

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, OSMANTHUS is the latest to join the list of new Rockridge restaurants—it just opened in the former Nan Yang spot. I was on College Avenue last week and decided to stop by and take a peek. The candlelit room has a sultry feeling, and there’s an intimate bar in the back.

The “modern-classic Asian” menu from chef Julia Klein (previously at Terra in St. Helena) spans Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian dishes, with an array of small plates (like two kinds of chicken wings, dry-fried green beans, mapo tofu, short ribs with kabocha and five spice), plus larger plates like Asian cioppino (sounds intriguing). The fried rice dishes also sound great, like one with Cantonese sausage and another with smoked trout, fried garlic, and ginger. You can read some initial Yelp reports. And there’s a full bar to boot. Open for dinner Tue-Sun. 6048 College Ave. at Florio, Oakland, 510-923-1233.

Ohgane’s new offshoot, COPAN, is now open in the former Sura in Temescal, according to East Bay Express. The Korean-Japanese restaurant from Ohgane’s Micha Oh (with chef Eddie Joo) is serving small plates like scallion pancake, bibimbap, stews, and soups—check out EBX’s scan of the menu. Lunch and dinner daily, 11am-10pm. 4869 Telegraph Ave. at 48th St., Oakland.

I have been tracking the opening of KINGSTON 11 on Facebook for some time now, and it looks like their soft opening period is launching this week (Thursday November 14th)! This Jamaican restaurant—from owners Adrian Henderson, Nigel Jones, and Andre King—started as a pop-up at Guerilla Café in Berkeley and is now launching their long-awaited brick-and-mortar location in Uptown Oakland.

The Jamaican menu (made with organic ingredients) includes small bites like salt fish fritters ($7), plantains with black bean sauce and sour cream ($6), black pepper tofu ($8), and spicy grilled shrimp ($8); larger plates include jerk chicken with rice, peas, and plantains ($14), slash and burn snapper with fried dumplings and green salad ($13), and oxtail stew with white jasmine rice and plantains ($15). There’s also a rum bar with cocktails, plus other spirits, wine, and beer. Dinner service to start Tue-Sat at 5pm, with lunch and Sunday brunch coming in mid-December. 2270 Telegraph Ave. at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-214-2311.

As previously mentioned, TRABOCCO, a new Italian restaurant, is opening in Alameda. We have word now that the new spot is opening on Monday November 18th with dinner service. To recap, the project comes from husband and wife team Giuseppe Naccarelli and Christine Naish Naccarelli and will offer housemade pastas and bread, plus wood-fired pizzas, salads, and roasted meats. You can take a look at the menu right here. Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. In a couple of weeks, they’ll be adding lunch and weekend brunch, as well. South Shore Center at Shoreline Dr., Alameda, 510-521-1152.


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Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

Booze News: Elixir Turns 10 (and 155), Punch at the Ferry Plaza, Give Back the Bird


One of the fall cocktail offerings at CUESA’s Beat Them to the Punch. Photo from Facebook.


Give Back the Bird’s participating bartenders. Photo by Allison Webber.

ELIXIR has been operating as a bar for at least 155 years, according to historical documents, but on Saturday November 16th, they’ll be celebrating a different anniversary. H. Joseph Ehrmann reopened the bar 10 years ago after a big restoration and repair project, and has been slinging cocktails ever since. Join him, along with several of the bar’s past and current staff, for a 10th (and 155th) Anniversary Party from 12pm-6pm that includes special beers, cocktails, and punches at 2003 prices. Ryan Farr and 4505 Meats will also be in attendance, offering barbecue to add to the festivities. Food is free with the purchase of a beverage, but donations will be accepted for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The next day (how convenient), on Sunday November 17th, they’ll be hosting their Hangover Brunch series, with former bar manager and current corporate chef Jack Andrews. You’ll find hangover-friendly vittles, plus Bloody Elixirs, punches, and cold beer to cure whatever ails you, all from 11am-5pm. The next one will be Sunday December 8th, so you can plan ahead for that too. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.

Brace against the chill in the air with some seasonal cocktails from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at BEAT THEM TO THE PUNCH: FALL COCKTAILS OF THE FARMERS MARKET on Wednesday November 20th from 5:30pm-8:30pm. You’ll find warm spiced drinks and holiday punches, all made with seasonal produce like pomegranate, persimmon, pear, and citrus. Participating bartenders include Tayler Buffington (Range), Erik Ellestad (Heaven’s Dog), and Trent Simpson (La Urbana). Tickets are $45 and include two full-size and 11 sample-size cocktails, plus nibbles from local restaurants and a recipe book to re-create the beverages at home. Ferry Building Great Hall, Embarcadero at Market.

This Thanksgiving, Wild Turkey Bourbon is sponsoring GIVE BACK THE BIRD, a fundraiser for the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. Here’s how it works: from now until November 30th, local bars will be featuring a Wild Turkey cocktail, and proceeds from the sale of each drink go to the Food Bank. Look for beverages at Rye, Trick Dog, and 15 Romolo; take a look at all the participating bars and their offerings here. Cheers to the bird!

According to East Bay Dish, THE PUNCHDOWN is sadly pouring its last glass of natural wine and closing on Friday November 15th due to losing their lease. The owners hope to reopen elsewhere, follow them on Facebook for updates. 2212 Broadway Ave. at Grand, Oakland.

Ferry Building            - One Ferry Building San Francisco - 415-983-8000

Bar Updates: Oddjob Now Open in SoMa, Cafe Royale Closed for a Remodel


The conveyor belt bar (and in-progress back bar) at Odd Job. Photo: ©

A few weeks ago, we gave you a sneak peek of ODDJOB, the new SoMa bar from Jeff Whitmore (Public Works), Pete Glikshtern (Jones), and Jordan Langer (Big), and this is just a note to let you know the bar is officially open! Whether you want to grab a straightforward drink from the front bar or a bespoke number from the back bar, they have you covered. 1337 Mission St. at Washburn (near 9th St).

A friend who lives on Nob Hill alerted me to a sign hanging in the window of CAFE ROYALE, announcing it’s closed for the month of November for some repairs, and is due to open the first week of December. Since they just got their full liquor license, it sounds like they are ready to take things to the next level. 800 Post. St. at Leavenworth, 415-441-4099.

Some Fab Wine Events for Your Radar (Including Bubbles, Pop!)


Some of the Beaujolais on offer at Arlequin’s 2012 bash. Photo from Facebook.

It’s that time of year when Beaujolais imports start coming in droves from France. If you’re a fan, don’t miss ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT’s eighth annual Beaujolais Bash on Thursday November 21st, from 6pm-8pm. They’ll be pouring more than 25 wines (including Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Brun, Alain Coudert, Jean-Paul Thévenet, Jean Foillard, Bruno Debize), many from the 10 cru villages in the region, plus some more innovative “nouveau” styles. No crap. And if you really love a bottle, all of them will be priced at 10 percent off. The event costs $35, just pay at the door.

It’s always bubbles o’clock as far as we’re concerned, which means it’s a perfect time to check out this Champagne and sparkling wine tasting from The Vinguard: Living in the Bubbles. It’s happening on Friday November 15th from 6pm-9pm at the Smoking Nun Gallery in SoMa, and includes 25 sparkling wines from several wine regions, including Champagne. The focus is on environmentally responsible wines, at reasonable prices. Tickets are $50, and 20 percent of all proceeds go to No Bully, an organization committed to ending bullying in schools. Cheers to that. 1116 Folsom St. at 7th St.

On Saturday November 23rd, don’t miss the 15th annual PinotFest at FARALLON from 3pm-6pm. The popular event includes pinot noir from more than 50 producers from Oregon and California, including Alma Rosa, Bonaccorsi, Lynmar, Merry Edwards, Pey-Marin, and Twomey. Farallon will be providing appetizers, as well. Tickets are $100 per person. 450 Post St. at Powell, 4th Floor, 415-956-6969.

Arlequin Wine Merchant            - 384 Hayes St. San Francisco - 415-863-1104


the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

A Jonesing for Quince

The inimitable Quincy Jones and his hilarious (and beautiful) daughter Rashida Jones were spotted at Quince on Saturday night. We don’t know what they ate, but we’re sure their meal was as fabulous as they are!

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